New York City, NY- A Doctors Without Borders physician, Craig Spencer, is currently at Bellvue Hospital in Manhattan with a positive Ebola test after returning to New York about 10 days ago from West Africa.
Spencer seemed to have taken all possible precautions while he was in Guinea, to prevent himself from being infected, while still committing to his purpose of helping those Ebola victims that needed him most. He is a true humanitarian. He posted on his Facebook page recent to his arrival in Guinea.
“Off to Guinea with Doctors Without Borders (MSF)” he wrote. “Please support organizations that are sending support or personnel to West Africa, and help combat one of the worst public health and humanitarian disasters in recent history.”
Spencer, who is employed at New York’s Columbia Presbyterian Hospital started exhibiting symptoms of Ebola on Wednesday night and was put into isolation at Bellvue, Thursday morning.
The video from CNN:
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio made statements on Thursday to attempt to quell any panic that might erupt from this new diagnosis, the first in NYC.
“careful protocols were followed every step of the way” in the city’s handling of the case. The hospitalized doctor has “worked closely” with health officials, the mayor said.
The doctor exhibited symptoms of the Ebola virus for “a very brief period of time” and had direct contact with “very few people” in New York, de Blasio told reporters.
However, according to this breaking report from CNN, he may not have been as careful as he could have been.
Investigators took the case seriously from the outset because it appeared the doctor didn’t quarantine himself following his return, the law enforcement official said. The doctor traveled to Brooklyn and then back to Manhattan on Wednesday night, the official said.
In a statement Thursday, Doctors Without Borders confirmed that the physician recently returned from West Africa and was “engaged in regular health monitoring.” The doctor contacted Doctors Without Borders Thursday to report a fever, the statement said.
The law enforcement official said the doctor was out in public. Authorities also quarantined his girlfriend, with whom he was spending time since his return from Africa.
The doctor began feeling sluggish a couple of days ago, but it wasn’t until Thursday, when he developed 103-degree fever, that he contacted Doctors Without Borders, authorities said.
It seems that every precaution was taken with transporting Spencer to Bellvue, which has been designated as a well prepared facility in dealing with Ebola.
The health department said a special ambulance unit transported a patient suffering from a fever and gastrointestinal symptoms.
The doctor returned to the U.S. within the past 21 days from one of the three West African countries currently facing the outbreak of virus, the health department statement said.
Bellevue Hospital is designated for the “isolation, identification and treatment of potential Ebola patients” in the city, the statement said.
“As a further precaution, beginning today (Thursday), the Health Department’s team of disease detectives immediately began to actively trace all of the patient’s contacts to identify anyone who may be at potential risk,” the health department statement said.
“The chances of the average New Yorker contracting Ebola are extremely slim,” the statement said, adding that the disease is spread by direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.
Bellevue Hospital is one of the eight hospitals statewide that Gov. Andrew Cuomo designated earlier this month as part of an Ebola preparedness plan, the state heath department said.
The thoughts and prayers of those of us at Pandora’s Podium are with Dr. Craig Spencer as he begins what is likely to be, a desperate fight for his life.